Experiencing failure: The relationships among achievement goal profiles, emotions, and future effort

Nicole Renee Seicol, Fordham University


Educators have long been interested in how students react differently to failure experiences. What makes one student expend more effort after an academic failure, but another avoids effort or academic engagement? One avenue of research in this area has examined the influence of students’ achievement goals on their response to academic success or failure. This study sought to examine how students with various multiple goal profiles react to an imagined failure situation with respect to four outcome-focused achievement emotions (i.e., hope, anxiety, shame, & hopelessness) and effort. A k-means cluster analysis of the four AGQ-R scales produced three multiple goal profiles: Mastery High, High All Goals, and Average All Goals. Findings revealed that students in the Mastery High and High All Goals profiles reported significantly higher intended effort after the imagined failure experience in comparison to students with the Average All Goals profile. The findings appear to highlight overall protective benefit of holding high levels of mastery-approach goals, as high levels of performance-avoidance goals did not have negative effect on effort after a recent failure experience when coupled with high mastery-approach goals. Significant differences in achievement emotions between the cluster groups were not found. The results of this study are integrated with current theory, and implications for theory and practice are addressed.

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Seicol, Nicole Renee, "Experiencing failure: The relationships among achievement goal profiles, emotions, and future effort" (2016). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10146981.